Our Mission

The Southern Marin Mothers’ Club
strives to provide a supportive, nurturing
community for families to share
meaningful experiences, fun, and fellowship
that strengthen family bonds.

1400
members
50
subgroups by age, interest, or special need
36
events per year on average
300
members of The School Years subgroup
52
average forum posts per day
2500
dollars donated last year to local charities

THE TEAM

Catherine Wold

President

Catherine was born in England, lived in Thailand and Malaysia before moving to Orinda to attend junior and senior high school. After playing lacrosse for UC Davis, Catherine graduated with a BA in Communications. She went on to spend more than a dozen years in the public relations and television marketing industry working for companies like ESPN. Catherine recently combined her love for the entertainment industry and connecting people and co-founded shortlist Model + Talent with fellow SMMC mom, Lana Burstein.
Catherine is happiest when sharing her love of sport, the outdoors, and all that Marin County offers with her husband Jeff and their boys, Justin and Ryan.

Emma Reilly

President-Elect

Emma, originally from the UK, moved to San Francisco in 2008 for a 1 year assignment! She is still here and now lives happily in San Rafael with her husband Neal and their 4 year old daughter Keira. Emma is also step-mom to Conor and Christian.
Emma spent 20 years working in Financial Services before taking a break last year to be a full time Mum to Keira. She recently started her own consulting business and is a co-founder of Project Worth, an initiative focused on educating professional women about the importance of financial preparedness as it relates to career success. Emma loves spending time with family, traveling and hiking. She has a passion for food and wine and is often found in the kitchen cooking (most of the time with wine!). She has adopted bay area sports and is a San Francisco Giants season ticket holder.

Stacey Johnson

Secretary

Stacey Johnson is a Bay Area native. She spent most of her career as an HR Business Partner and most recently was the Head of Talent Management for the Global Quality organization at Novartis in Basel, Switzerland. While in Switzerland, she and her husband, Alex, enjoyed traveling all over Europe. They now live in Mill Valley and have a 4 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. She enjoys hiking, traveling and drinking wine with friends.

Jessica Hamrick

Treasurer

Jessica Hamrick moved to the Bay area in 2001 from Southern California (she is a fully converted Giants and Warriors fan). She and her husband, Jeff, live in Mill Valley with their son Ben, daughter Kate, and dog Paige. Jessica is a Managing Director in the ETF and Indexing Investment business at BlackRock. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in the yard gardening, enjoying good food & wine, and spending time with friends.

Katy Paterson

Advertising

Katy is a Northern California native back home after ten years living overseas first in Sydney, Australia then Singapore. She is enjoying being back in beautiful California close to family again. Katy moved to Sydney in 2006 for a job opportunity in the e-commerce space. She worked in the online industry for 10 years both here in the U.S. and overseas. Katy met her Australian husband while living in Sydney. After getting married in Bali they had their son, Jaxon, while living in Singapore. She truly enjoyed living abroad, especially the incredible travel adventures around Asia. Katy enjoys spending time with her two favorite boys, frequenting the yoga studio, traveling and wine!

Mally Chakola

Activities

I started my career as a young rainmaker attorney practicing mergers & acquisitions in New York City and representing clients from private funds to luxury brands. True to my middle-brained nature and passion for creating, in parallel to my practice of the law I have successfully launched, from concept to market, luxury event and floral design, prestige skincare, and building materials companies. I continue to invest myself in the growth of my family’s manufacturing businesses. For fun, I enjoy spending time with my husband Dean and our daughter Fleur, traveling, spinning, gardening, cooking for last minute dinner parties, and making all things beautiful.

Vanessa Lindlaw

Philanthropy

Vanessa has called Marin home for nearly three years, since moving to Larkspur from San Francisco in 2015. A native of Washington, D.C., she started her career in public relations at ABC News and FOX News Channel in the nation’s capital. The work led her to a coffee with a handsome White House reporter, Scott, who she married in 2007. Her career in public relations has included a focus on corporate social responsibility, where she assisted global programs for Adobe, Chevron and HP as examples. As philanthropy director, Vanessa will continue SMMC’s leadership in Marin by investing in local nonprofits that support children and families. She is mom to four-year-old Katherine and two-year-old Bowdie.

Stephanie Wong

Community Outreach

Stephanie is a seasoned fashion+tech entrepreneur garnering recognition with mentions in Vogue, InStyle UK, and as speaker at the Commonwealth Club of California. Highlights include interviews with Zac Posen and Saint Laurent’s muse Loulou de la Falaise. A fourth-generation San Franciscan, she now lives in Corte Madera with her daughter Lucy and dog Sébastien. She now divides her time between growing her business, travels with her family, and supports nonprofits that assist women and children in need. Today, Stephanie is a passionate Rodan + Fields business owner - building a community alongside her like-minded team whose vision is to empower others to dream BIG!

Katie McGraw

Online Services

Katie McGraw grew up in Santa Cruz, went to UC Berkeley, and lived in San Francisco before landing in San Anselmo. Katie worked for nearly a decade in Sales & Business Development for a variety of Bay Area corporations and startups, eventually pivoting into artistic endeavors. She served as Director of Activities for SMMC during the 2017-18 term, organizing 30 events, including The SMMC Preschool Fair. She loves trying new restaurants, exploring the Mt.Tam Watershed, volunteering, laughing, and unwinding at YogaWorks. She has a 4 year old daughter Zoe, and is married to Scientist/Entrepreneur Jason Holt.

Ananda Lazare Twigg

Membership

My husband and I moved to the Bay Area from Victoria, BC, Canada almost 4 years ago and to San Rafael 2 years ago. I have a diverse background in social work and counselling, yoga teaching, and building design. In addition, I helped create and run my husband’s tech start­up for two years before having our daughter, Isla. I’m happiest when I get to exercise, play outside, make art, dance, travel and spend time with family and friends. I love everything Marin has to offer families and SMMC really helps me feel connected to community.

Leslie Gruettner

Big Tent

Leslie moved to San Francisco from Southern California in 2001 to attend and graduate from The University of San Francisco with a BA in Communication Studies. She fell so in love with the Bay Area, she never left. She moved on from her career in advertising to help open and operate Marengo Restaurant Group in San Francisco beginning in 2010. Leslie enjoys living life in San Rafael with her husband, Jim, and their three daughters Jules, Adele and June (ages 4, 2.5 & 2.5). In her free time, Leslie enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, gardening and being outdoors.

Robbin Rockkett

The School Years

Robbin moved to the bay area from Texas in 1995 to earn her doctorate degree in clinical psychology. She lived in San Francisco for over ten years before settling in Mill Valley when she had her first baby. She is a single mom of three awesome kids and her sweet rescue dog Marley. Robbin owns and is Clinical Director of Marin Wellness Counseling which provides psychotherapy to help marin families thrive. She is also founder and host of the podcast Solo Parent Life, a podcast for single parents. Robbin was on the SMMC board as Community Outreach from 2007 to 2010 and now returns to the board as director of The School Years. She loves camping, listening to live music, cracking up over silly things with her kids and spending time with dear friends.

Fawn Bailey

Director, The SMMC Crier

Fawn moved to Marin from the east coast with her husband, Chris, and their boys (now ages 4 and 7) so Chris could grow his solar energy startup. The first time she visited Marin and walked through a grove of redwoods, she felt at home. Fawn worked as a science education editor for the Rainforest Alliance and National Geographic before earning her M.A. in Biology Education and becoming a mom of two sweet, active boys. When she isn't overseeing production of The SMMC Crier or helping preschoolers dig for worms, you can find Fawn with her family hiking, catching live music at Sweetwater or Terrapin, or working in the garden.

Yolanda Siegmueller

Co-Director, The SMMC Crier

Yolanda became an SMMC member four years ago, after her first child was born. She and her husband, Claas, moved from Europe to Marin for what they thought would last only one year. Six years later, they still cannot resist the Californian sunshine and beaches. You’ll often find her in a dance class at Rocco, hiking China Camp, or on family road trips. Yolanda’s career background is in Law and corporate transformation and right now, she's having fun overseeing content of The Crier.

Kristen Sundberg

Co-Director, Treasurer

Kristen grew up in Southern California and moved to the Bay Area in 2012. Her first time visiting Marin was on a bike ride with her husband from the city over the bridge to Sausalito. She nearly ran into a few things gawking at the beauty that is Marin and decided she must move here! She and her husband are both CPAs and met at KPMG. Since moving to Marin, they have welcomed two kids, a now 2-year old daughter and baby boy. Kristen has been an accounting and finance professional for 14 years and is currently an accounting policy director at MUFG Union Bank. While mostly focused on family these days, she tries to find time for travel, friends, biking and swimming.

FAQS

MEMBERSHIP

How do I join SMMC?
Follow these steps to apply online:

  1. Generate an invitation from Big Tent to join SMMC through their site.
  2. Fill out the online application.
  3. The Membership team usually approves memberships within 72 hours.

Email our membership team at membership@southernmarinmoms.com with any questions.

What are the benefits of membership?
There are so many reasons to join SMMC. Join for the friendships, the amazing parent resources, our online forum (with nanny and babysitter recommendations!), the classifieds, the 50+ playgroups, the full calendar of activities for your family, our monthly magazine, the SMMC Crier magazine and access to the Crier Blog, our SMMC Community Discounts program and our philanthropic programs.

What is the Meals for Moms program?
Meals for Moms is a great service that SMMC provides for members who have new babies, who are on bed rest or dealing with a prolonged illness or who otherwise are in need of a helping hand. Please email mealsformoms@southernmarinmoms.com and we will help coordinate this meal delivery service.

Who can join SMMC?
Moms, dads, grandparents—any family raising children in Marin is welcome to join. SMMC has members from Sausalito through Novato.

I’m an expecting mom, can I join?
Absolutely! The forums are an especially great resource for expecting moms, with community advice and recommendations for everything from birth plans to breastfeeding. Many expecting moms join to gain access to the online forums, where parents often recommend nannies and childcare.

I have older kids. Is SMMC still relevant for me?
The school years open up a whole new world of joys and challenges for parents who will find help, support and resources through SMMC. We have a subgroup of close to 400 members especially for parents of school-aged children (ages 4-18). Mixing parental education and family-oriented events, The School Years team puts on multiple events each year. Typical events include parenting education talks, a family overnight, kids’ movie parties, workshops on re-entering the workforce, a private school fair, and a Pacifics baseball game. Additional events include relevant panel discussions, documentary screenings, and kids’ volunteer opportunities.

What does it cost to join?
A one-year SMMC membership costs $75 and two-year membership is $125. Scholarships are available, just contact membership@southernmarinmoms.com.

What is SMMC’s refund policy?

SMMC has a no refund policy for new membership fees. Renewing members have 14 days to cancel their renewing membership.

What is SMMC’s payment policy?

As of May 2017, Southern Marin Mothers’ Club has a new payment terms and conditions whereby members are opting in to an automatic renewal membership. A member has 14 days to cancel their membership renewal after the day payment is processed. If a cancellation is initiated within the 14 day period, a full membership refund will be issued. After 14 days, no additional refunds will be processed. Memberships will be automatically renewed and the member’s credit card charged based on the original membership type (e.g. either every 1 year or every 2 years). Members will no longer receive a reminder email of upcoming renewal payments and credit cards will be automatically charged. A receipt of payment will be issued to the email address on file at the time credit cards are charged and processed. If a member’s credit card on file needs to be changed or has expired, members have until the 25th of every month to update their credit card on file. If credit card is not updated by the 25th of every month, Southern Marin Mothers’ Club membership will be terminated. Southern Marin Mothers’ Club reserves the right to terminate membership at any time with no refunds. Email membership@southernmarinmothersclub.com with any further questions.

How can I volunteer?
SMMC is run entirely by volunteers—yes, our 1400+ member club is run by more than 70+ moms and dads who give some of their time every month to bring you a vast array of programming, resources, camaraderie and fun! If you are interested in volunteering, please email president@southernmarinmoms.com.

Please find SMMC’s full Membership Terms and Conditions here.

PLAYGROUPS

Where can I go to find a playgroup that suits my needs?
Log on to BigTent. Be sure to select “Southern Marin Mother’s Club” from the top right drop down. Look on the left hand column and select “Subgroups”; there is a list of all of SMMC’s subgroups (in alphabetical order).

I’m expecting soon and am a first time mom—when is the right time to join a playgroup for my little one?
Any time is a great time to join a playgroup! Some women join while pregnant and some after their child is born. SMMC creates playgroups and groups them by quarter per calendar year (Q1 is January – March). You select a playgroup that fits with the expected birth date of your child. If you join a playgroup while pregnant, it’s a great time to meet other expectant moms and have a chance to get to know one another before the birth, but it’s equally beneficial to join after you give birth.

My playgroup isn’t as active as I’d like. What can I do?
Sometimes playgroups experience periods of inactivity due to weather, calendar holidays, parent’s work schedules, etc. These groups are entirely self-run and SMMC does not host activities or meet ups, which means it’s up to its group members to participate. If you have noticed few or infrequent playgroup activities, the best thing to do is to suggest one within the group’s forum! It can be as simple as “let’s meet at the park at 10am“. The Membership Team is here to help with ideas based on kids’ respective ages and group best practices to anyone needing help. Contact membership@southernmarinmoms.com.

ONLINE FORUMS/BIGTENT

What is BigTent, and how is it different from the SMMC website?
BigTent is how SMMC members interact online. We have a members only area that hosts our forums, age based playgroups, special interest sub-groups, classifieds listings, our event calender and lots more. Once you join, make sure to check it out. You can set up BigTent to alert you to new classifieds, forum posts, or events, or so you don’t receive any emails at all.

The SMMC website is general information about our club that is visible to everyone. The website calendar will show the events, but none of the specific details for members only.

What content is on the online forums, and what questions can I ask?
The forums are how our members interact with one another online. There is tons of valuable information about schools, common childrearing issues, and so much more. You can ask just about anything (within reason of course) and almost always get some great answers. It’s also possible to post sensitive questions anonymously so no one knows who’s asking but you can still get answers.

How do I sign up or log into BigTent?
Once your membership has been approved by our membership team (usually within 72 hours), the email and password you entered when you joined SMMC can be used to log into BigTent. Simply go to www.BigTent.com and enter your email and password. Once you’re logged in, you can click on the “Discussions” tab to visit the forums, the “Events” tab to see the calendar, or the “Classifieds” tab for the latest classifieds listings.

How do I post something on the forums?
To post in the SMMC Forums, make sure you’re in the “Discussions” section of Big Tent, which is the forum. Then click on the the blue “Start a Topic” button on the upper right hand side of the forum. From there, enter your title, then the content of your post. Finally, select the forum you want the post to go into. Most posts go into the “General Discussions” forum, but any posts related to childcare should go into the “Childcare” forum. If you are posting into a specific sub-group like your age based play group, select that forum. Finally, click the blue “Post a Topic” button at the bottom of the screen.

How do I join a subgroup, and how many can I join?
Subgroups are smaller groups within SMMC that are focused on an age groups (like your age based playgroup), your local area, or a special interest like “Jewish Moms” or Mompreneurs.

There is no limit to how many you can join, but we suggest starting with no more than three or four and expanding out from there once you’ve connected with other members in those groups. To see the list of Subgroups or join one, log into BigTent. There is a menu on the left side of the screen, and under “Resources” one of the options is “Subgroups”. Click on that to see our list of Subgroups and a description of each one. To the right of each Subgroup name and description is a blue button that says, “learn more and join”. Click on that for some more information about the Subgroup.

If you want to join the Subgroup, click the “Request an Invitation” button. Once the Subgroup leader has approved your membership, you’ll get an invitiation through Bigtent to join the group officially. Once you’ve accepted that, you’ll be part of that Subgroup, see their forum postings, calendars, and receive any group specific communications.

Can I buy and sell items on the online forums?
Yes, we have a very active classifieds section with great items for sale.

I own a business. Can I post something about my business on the forum?
We don’t allow any self-promotion on the forums. Due to the number of our members with their own businesses, the forum could quickly be dominated by this type of post. However, you can reply to someone’s post who is looking for or asking a question about your type of business. We do require that you disclose your relationship to the business in your post.

Can I post anonymously on the online forums?
Yes, we do allow anonymous posts on any topics that require privacy. However, we strive for a positive and supportive tone on the forums and do not allow anonymous criticisms or negative reviews. Posting something anonymously is quick and easy. Prior to hitting the “Post a Topic” button click the “options” button. Then click the box where it says “conceal my profile identity”. Once you’ve selected that, click the “Post a Topic” button. Your post will not appear right away as it has to be approved by the moderators. This can take anywhere between a few minutes and a day.

Go here to find the guidelines for the online forums.

THE SCHOOL YEARS

I have older kids. Is SMMC still relevant for me?
The school years open up a whole new world of joys and challenges for parents. We have a subgroup of close to 400 members that provides help, support and resources designed especially for parents of school-aged children (ages 4-18).

What kind of events do you hold for school-aged children and parents?
The School Years team puts on multiple events each year that mix parental education and family-oriented events. Typical events include parenting education talks, a family overnight, kids’ movie parties, workshops on re-entering the workforce, a private school fair, and a Pacifics baseball game. Additional events include relevant panel discussions, documentary screenings and kids’ volunteer opportunities.

EVENTS

What types of events does SMMC host?
The SMMC Calendar is full of activities for kids, families and even activities just for parents! We have three big events, many socials, outstanding educational seminars and an annual consignment boutique. We also host Preschool Night and a Private School Fair each year as parents consider educational choices. Check out our calendar for more information.

Who can attend SMMC events?
Some SMMC events are open to the public, but the majority are for members only.

How will I be notified of all of the upcoming events?
SMMC posts all events on the online forums at BigTent and sends a monthly email listing upcoming events. You can also check our online calendar for the latest.

How do I RSVP for events?
Events that are open to the public will include an Eventbrite link to RSVP. Members-only events will include a link to RSVP on BigTent.

Does SMMC charge for events?
SMMC sometimes charges a nominal fee for events in order to offer a range of high-quality experiences and speakers.

SMMC COMMUNITY DISCOUNTS PROGRAM

Where can I find the SMMC Community Discounts card?
The discounts card is available to SMMC members only. As a member, you can find the Community Discounts card in the SMMC Crier, on the Crier Blog, and in the Files tab on BigTent.

Where is a list of all the discounts?
Click here for the list of all the discounts. You can also find a complete list in the SMMC Crier and on the Crier Blog.

How can I make a suggestion for the SMMC Community Discounts list?
Please email your suggestions and recommendations to smmccommunitydiscounts@southernmarinmoms.com. We would love to hear from you!

I am a business owner, how can I become a SMMC Community Discounts partner?
Send an email to smmccommunitydiscounts@southernmarinmoms.com with your business information, including your email address and website link. To become a partner, we ask for a minimum discount of 20%.

MEALS FOR MOMS

What is the Meals for Moms program?
Meals for Moms is a great service that SMMC provides for members who have new babies, who are on bed rest or dealing with a prolonged illness or who otherwise are in need of a helping hand. Please email mealsformoms@southernmarinmoms.com and we will help coordinate this meal delivery service.

I love to cook. How can sign up for delivering a meal to a family in need?
Our Meals for Moms team coordinates all our meal delivery services. All members are on an on-call list (arranged alphabetically) and are asked to participate sometime throughout the year. Please email mealsformoms@southernmarinmoms.com for any questions.